Rachel Holland named Director of Downtown Development and Planning

Rachel Holland joined Lafayette’s Downtown Development Authority as Director of Downtown Development and Planning on March 9. Holland, who has experience in both the public and private sectors, will facilitate Downtown real estate development and investment and serve as a liaison for private industry with Lafayette City-Parish government.

“Rachel understands the contributions urban areas make to a city, parish, and region,” said DDA CEO Anita Begnaud. “Downtown is ready to be a model for market-leading, sustainable development that demonstrates a healthy return on investment.”

Holland was most recently the Planning Manager for Lafayette-based Southern Lifestyle Development’s mixed-use and traditional neighborhoods portfolio. Prior to that role, she was a planner at Lafayette Consolidated Government for three years, where she worked to streamline regulations for infill development and reform policy in Downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods.

A Lafayette native who lives in the Downtown area, Holland graduated from St. Thomas More Catholic High School and has a Master of Architecture degree from Tulane University in New Orleans.

In her new role, she will serve as a development liaison between public and private interests. Her background in architecture, experience with development codes, and involvement in development at all stages—from planning to construction—give her a unique perspective when working with strategic partners. Holland aims to establish a framework where infill development is seen as a viable, and sometimes preferable, alternative to greenfield options.

While at LCG, she guided developers through public processes and gained an understanding of the challenges associated with redevelopment. “I will work to untangle the encumbrances inherent in infill projects that, if left unaddressed, drive development to greenfield sites because those areas have historically been easier to approach,” Holland said. “Reconstructing the narrative about infill development—that it’s too difficult or uneconomical—is critical to retaining and attracting business and industry in Downtown Lafayette.”

Begnaud notes, “Rachel’s keen understanding of development challenges and opportunities makes her the right choice for this new role. Her experience will enhance our office’s ability to be a resource to the increasing number of developers and businesses looking to locate, expand, build, and revitalize in Lafayette’s urban core.”

Holland serves on the board of directors for Lafayette Habitat for Humanity and is actively involved in both One Acadiana’s Urban Revitalization and Development Committee and the Acadiana Housing Alliance.


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